Authors In The Spotlight
Book Title: FIRELIGHT
Miranda Ellis' supernatural gift forces her to marry the disfigured Lord Benjamin archer after her powers destroy her family's fortune. Plagued with his own curse, Benjamin must face his own demons when accused of a series of murders. Now, Miranda must navigate the dark world of magic in order to save the soul of the man she loves.
Miranda put the unpleasantness of murder out of her mind. She would enjoy herself with Archer, if not for her sake, then for his. And surprisingly, they did enjoy the day. The museum was enormous; its collection of wonders vast.
When the hour grew late and most patrons made for home, Archer slipped an obscene amount of money to the guard to allow them to stroll the upper floors uninterrupted. They stopped to study Greek sculptures in one of the upper galleries, and she turned to him, intent upon offering her gratitude.
"Why haven't you left me?" Archer interrupted, scattering her thoughts.
"What do you mean?" But she knew. Her throat went dry and sore. How could she tell him, when she hadn't truly admitted it to herself?
He would not look at her as he gestured toward the stairs where the sound of patrons leaving the museum drifted up. "All of them think I am a killer."
He ran a finger along the balustrade at his side, watching the movement. "Morbid fascination compels society to tolerate me. But you..." Archer lifted his head, yet would not turn to face her. "Why haven't you left? Why do you defend me? I...I cannot account for it."
"You cannot account for a person coming to your defense when it is needed?"
His quiet conviction made her ache.
"I told you, Archer, I will not condemn you based on your appearance alone."
His stillness seemed to affect the air around him, turning their world quiet. "Come now, Miranda. You heard all that Inspector Lane had to say."
Caught, Miranda's breath left in a sharp puff, but he went on. "Sir Percival called my name moments before he was murdered. Another servant saw someone dressed like me leaving the grounds. All very damning. Why did you not leave then?"
"You have given me your word, Archer, and I will believe it." It was a true answer. But not the whole truth. "I will not run from you."
Cool quiet surrounded them, highlighting the soft rush of their mingled breathing. Slow as Sunday, his hand lifted, and a wash of heat flowed over her. But his hand moved to the hard mask at his face. The mask came off with a small creak and a burst of Archer's freed breath. Light hit his features, and Miranda froze.